Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council - 27th Regular Session

Item 10
Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Somalia

Statement by Australia
25 September 2014

Australia welcomes the newly-appointed Independent Expert to the Human Rights Council and wishes him every success in carrying out his mandate.

Swift progress on the political front over the next twelve months will be crucial to consolidate recent progress made in Somalia, particularly to agree on a federal model; draft a new constitution, involving wide public consultations; and to prepare for the 2016 elections, including forming an Electoral Law Committee and a National Independent Electoral Commission. This architecture will form the basis for the political rights and freedoms of the Somali people, and we would encourage the Independent Expert to use his mandate to support these fundamental processes.

The Federal Government of Somalia’s human rights roadmap is another important framework document, and we look forward to the Independent Expert’s next update on the status of the roadmap.

Australia strongly supports the important work being carried out by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the UN Support Office for AMISOM (UNSOA) and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), as well as the work of UN OCHA and humanitarian actors. How does the Independent Expert intend to systematically engage with these international actors, to ensure that his work is complementary and builds on the work of others?

Australia agrees that close coordination in the planning stages of current and future military operations in Somalia is vital to ensure that the human rights and humanitarian needs of civilian populations are properly taken into account. We encourage the Independent Expert to work with AMISOM, the UN Missions and the Federal Government of Somalia to raise awareness of human rights in this regard.